pain is the staff of life

Joe Lieberman, Obama, strange fruit.

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 27, 2008

So Joe Lieberman is being tantalizingly dangled as a possible Veep by the McCain side? Few remember that back in 2004 Joe was a mentor to the young Senator Obama. You could say he was ‘showing him the ropes.’ A poor choice of words. I know.


James Carville

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 27, 2008

I didn’t hear CNN’s James Carville’s comments the first night of the convention (08DNC) but as the Clintons’ link (unofficial?) to the ‘black community’ with his ‘folksy and colourful’ N’awlins patois he must have been dismayed to see and hear today’s urbane ‘black folk’ and realized his time* had come and gone like an old vaudeville minstrel in blackface (he certainly was very entertaining in his day.) Similarly, Eminem will need to hike his pants. (ditto in the entertainment dept.)


*Neither is New Orleans the city it once was.

St John NB & The Magnificent Irvings + Art heist at Beaverbrook Gallery

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 18, 2008

Maritime report.

Sometime in the 1980s, I met an old woman, who like my dad, was a native of St John, NB. She told me that all the little girls in this hilly city used to wait at the bottom of Princess St. hoping to catch a glimpse of my 17 yr old father Frank as he sauntered down the hill. It’s hard to imagine one’s wheezy old man as an object of desire but I accepted it as the truth. He was a handsome dude, a bit on the short side, but there’s no denying he was a charmer. The only person he seems not to have charmed was my mother. She was on the rebound when she grudgingly asked him to a company picnic sometime in the mid-1930s, ignoring him throughout, I might add. It was only when a co-worker came up to her and said “So Gaby, who’s the good-looking fella’ with your sister Myrt?” that she reacted “He’s not with Myrt! He’s with me!” She had a second look at him. This part happened in Montreal. In the late 1920s and early 30s my father and his 5 siblings left St John for Central Canada and the North Eastern U.S., though their parents and grandparents are buried there alongside the many Irish who arrived in St John Harbor in the early to mid-1800s.

There may be more of ancient Rome left standing than there is of old St John. The city has been so messed-about with that’s it’s hard to imagine what it looked like from sorrowful stories past. There was a fire there in 1877 but that seems too long ago to explain the huge gaps in it’s hilly streets. I’ve heard tell of a streetcar that went from the village of Fairville (my grandmother Johanna Gillis’s hometown) to a cantilever bridge over the St John River that customers crossed on foot before boarding another streetcar into St John proper. My 8 yr old aunt rode that streetcar to be with her mother who lay dying somewhere at an address on Main St at the age of 32. Huge chunks of the city have gone missing and replaced with big wide roads severing neighbourhoods that were once contiguous. The worse junk-food franchises are all well-represented, unfortunately. I tried to find Douglas Ave. where my father’s family had once lived but I might as well have been looking for it in Baltimore. It’s all delapidated churches catty-corner from Mickey Ds. There are few old streets in the city center that are wholly intact but caring people continue to renovate the remaining tall narrow brick and brownstone buildings. By some miracle the lovely old city market, St John High School and the Imperial Theatre escaped demolition and all seem to be thriving. There’s a boom on. The Magnificent Irvings are building yet another refinery and… St John is to be blessed with the new ‘Irving World headquarters.’ Why do I suspect the taxpayers will be footing the bill for this? (cause you’re a cynic?) Also, St John’s harbour welcomes big cruiseships now so the influx of bored tourists from these floating septic tanks has spawned a burgeoning economy of street hawkers who line the bottom of King St. I shudder to think of where the waste goes (surely not into the harbour?) but hey these things run on diesel so who cares. One thing’s for sure, the good people of St John will continue to swallow what’s served up to them and be thankful for whatever that might be..(a dose of the Norwalk virus?) Blue-cholera indeed. I confess to feeling great affection for this beleaguered little city though you wouldn’t know it from the tone of this post. It’s a treasure-trove of lovely junk from the past, an old stripper-lady with just one pastie left. I was lucky to pick up a 50s table-top Farfisa chord organ for a song. The instrument, if you can call it that, came out of some parsonage..a small poor one and was probably played by a church mouse. Just a closer walk with Thee…down to Mickey D’s.

By contrast, Fredericton, New Brunswick’s genteel (boring?) capital and home to U.N.B. (party campus?) benefited from the munificence of Max Aitken, aka Lord Beaverbrook, financier and newspaper baron. In 1959, by way of celebrating his 80th birthday, His Lordship built the Beaverbrook Art Gallery as a gift to the people of Fredericton and continued to fill it with works of art throughout his lifetime as did the Dowager Lady B. until she herself croaked. This fine Gallery has some surprisingly good and very valuable pieces (as it turns out) and Lord B. profligate heirs are trying to get their hands on 200 of them. The silly twits have gone and blown their inheritances. It’s an art heist. Both sides are spending what little resources they have on lawyers. I’m happy Lily and I got to see the collection before it ends up in the hands of private collectors, the only ones who will be able to afford the Turner (suggested price 25 mill), a nice Lucian Freud, vintage 1955, (a painting of his recently fetched 72 mil.) a couple of Botticellis, John Singer Sargents, the list goes on. Don’t Dali, go see them before the boys from Sotheby’s show up with the Ryder trucks. My personal favorite was a large Jack Bush. It’s probably safe. Canadian painters don’t have much currency in international art markets. I should mention that the Gallery is hosting a show on N.B. architecture (St John’s missing buildings are in there) and all the photos are mounted on raw Irving plywood. I hope it was was a gift. And the Provincial Assembly is getting a new copper roof.

view of st john harbourView of St John Harbour

view of st john harbour

Improbable conclusion to the 2001 anthrax mystery?

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 7, 2008

This is bound to get uglier, scarier..I’m not sure we’re ready for the whole truth unless it’s in the form of an ABC mini-series starring Jeremy Irons as Dr. Ivins, Lon Chaney as Dick Cheney, Verne Troyer as Rumsfeld..Curious George as Dubious George the Uncurious. First linked article is from Counterpunch by Sheldon Rampton. He’s more than implying a major cover-up here. In it he cites Glenn Greenwald’s story on Bruce Ivins at which is the second link.
Counterpunch: Sheldon Rampton’s article about possible cover-up in anthrax story

Glenn Greenwald’s article on Ivins

and now THIS from Huffpo’s fabulous Chris Kelly.

John McCain – Maverick… Ford Maverick?

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 5, 2008

Just checking the recalls on this Ford Model. There were many. Gearbox, steering, powertrain, defroster, defogger??… This is when Ford was calling its cars after leggy ranch animals. Very 70s, Neil Jungian©GCT. Remember the Pinto?,, the horse with a name? Another spotty Ford Model. A friend of mine almost wiped out in one of these. At the same time, GM was reaching for the stars to name its cars but the design was left to earthlings. The Chevy Nova. Super? The Chevy Vega..My mother owned one of these shitboxes. The Vega’s carpeted floor spontaneously combusted one day when my sister was driving in it with her two small children..They escaped, miraculously.

I’m so tired of seeing those pics of poor dead kids at the end of the McNeil-Lehrer Newshour. And that’s only the Americans. How must it be for all of the parents, loved ones? ExxonMobil owns PBS. Come on. It’s been seven years. Enuff already. Obama is a bicycle.

Iggy Pop and the Stooges robbed of their gear (including truck!) in Montreal Aug 4

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 4, 2008

Am I surprised to hear these musicians were robbed in Montreal? Not at all. Montreal has a serious crime problem and people should know about it before they set foot in the place. Touring bands should AVOID playing Montreal and tourists would do well to BOYCOTT THIS city. Forget Beijing. If enough people stay away, the ineffectual ‘one island, one city’ government might take notice and do something about it. It certainly pays no attention to the needs of its own constituents. I’m surprised Paul Larsen of Mountain Lake’s PBS Art Express hasn’t mentioned this dirty little-secret about Montreal in any of his shows.


This email was forwarded by Julie Christensen famous for having sung with Leonard Cohen and a singer in her own right

Dear Sebastien, and other Montreal/ musicians folk on my list,
I’m sorry to be sending bad news, but it’s a plea to help a bass-player friend and the band he’s touring with, the Stooges. I was in a band in ‘87 who’d just shared a gig with Watt’s band fIREHOSE in New Orleans, and our entire van got stolen. FIREHOSE and a bunch of other bands did a benefit for us, but it might’ve been the beginning of the end of our band…
I know none of you know the shady characters who did this awful thing, but if any of this equipment starts showing up around, please contact Eric and the people in this letter. This just happened in the early morning hours today…
I hope you and all your touring are safe and trouble-free.

Love and thanks,

Oh, Watt!
Ayyyyyyy! My heart is cracking over this. DAMN. I remember when it happened to us. The blood drains from you. I’m going to forward this to a promoter in Montreal and some other folks, just to try and get the word out.

Yours Truly,

Julie Christensen

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

If anyone has information, ANY INFORMATION!
please, please, PLEASE as soon as possible contact
Eric Fischer at:
cell phone: +1 646 932 1907



all equipment was in a rented penske 15 foot yellow truck
with u.s. (michigan) license plate number AC46493
and the theft had to have happened in the morning,
between 6:30 and 7:30 am

there’s a web page at:

that will soon have pictures and updates to more stuff found missing

Item Country of Origin Serial Number

Red roadcase containing: USA No serial number
Red Gibson 1963 EB-3 bass (this is mike watt’s bass!) USA No serial number

Black roadcase containing: USA No serial number
Reverend Flying V guitar – Volcano black USA #08001

Black roadcase containing: USA No serial number
Reverend Orange guitar USA 03416 ZSL7

Black fibre case containg: USA No serial number
Gibson red SG short scale bass USA No serial number

Black roadcase containing: USA No serial number
Marshall Vintage/Modern Amplifier UK M-2007-07-0926-2 RoHS

Black roadcase containing: USA No serial number
Marshall Vintage/Modern Amplifier UK M-2007-07-0927-2 RoHS

4x Marshall 4×12 Cabinets (with Tuki cover) UK #1 Slant: M-2007-05-0149-0

4x Marshall 4×12 Cabinets (with Tuki cover) UK #2 Straight: M-2006-49-0380-0

4x Marshall 4×12 Cabinets (with Tuki cover) UK #3 Slant: M-2007-05-0150-0

4x Marshall 4×12 Cabinets (with Tuki cover) UK #4 Straight: M-2006-49-0381-0

Orange Calzone road case containing:
Guitar pedal board and pedals USA/Japan No serial number
Assorted leads USA/UK No serial number
2x mic stands Germany No serial number
Assorted strings and spares USA No serial number
2x Boss TU2 Chromatic Tuner
Boss CH1 Super Chorus
Fulltone OCD Overdrive
Crybaby Wah
Peterson Strobo-Stomp Tuner Pedal
Whirlwind A/B Boxes
Whirlwind Cable Tester
and many many istrument cables
various tools ( screwdrivers, soldering iron, pliers, etc… )
tambourine and maracas

Cardboard box containing:
Assorted replacement drum heads USA No serial number

Gretsch Silver Sparkle Catalina drum kit USA No serial number
26″ Kick Drum No serial number
13″ Rack Tom No serial number
18″ Floor Tom No serial number
4x Cymbal Stands No serial number
1x Snare Stand No serial number
1x Hi Hat Stand No serial number
1x Drum Throne No serial number

Eden D810 Bass cabinet USA D810RP4 0703E5001

Eden D810 Bass cabinet USA D810RP4 0703E5002

Cardboard box containg:
Eden VT300 Bass amplifier USA 0601E5115

Cardboard box containg:
Eden VT300 Bass amplifier USA 0507E5033

Floor Fan CHINA No serial number

Floor Fan CHINA No serial number

Green clamshell suitcase containing:
Yamaha snare drum JAPAN No serial number
Yahama kick pedal JAPAN No serial number
Zildjian Mega Bell cymbal USA No serial number
Zildjian 15″ Hi-Hats USA No serial number
3x Zildjian 18″ 19″ 20″ crash medium cymbals USA No serial number

Brown Epiphone guitar case:
Black Epiphone EB3 short scale bass KOREA F300503


if anyone has information, ANY INFORMATION!
please, please, PLEASE as soon as possible contact
Eric Fischer at:
cell phone: +1 646 932 1907

can you believe this shit?

-YES. A couple of years ago, a friend of ours was in Bellechasse Hospital with complications from hip-replacement surgery. His son and family had driven up from the U.S. to be with their suffering father and parked their locked Volvo stationwagon with two mountain bikes, their laptops and their belongings directly outside the hospital. When they came to leave, the car & contents were gone and to my knowledge nothing was ever recovered. WELCOME TO MONTREAL, SUCKERS. The same year my daughter and her roommates were relieved of their laptops and stuff during an evening’s break and enter (low-lifes that hang around making drug deals at the corner of St Joseph W. and Esplanade?.) By morning my daughter was able to find the fence’s name and phone online including individual pics of their computers which were now offered for sale at & They marched all the necessary info down to their local copshop and were met with complete… apathy “we don’t have the manpower to do this, so..try and get your own stuff back then WE’ll bust them.” WHAT? They don’t have the manpower for fighting crime… Only for “tiddlywinks” policing. Yesterday six young people I know travelling at 30 kmh were pulled over on Park Ave so the cop could check them for seatbelts which they were all wearing. That stop yielded nothing for the cop. No tickets… CÂlice! J’mangerais ben un beigne… These glorified recess monitors are in the business of raising money not spending it on fighting real crime. You never see cops pulling over agressive drivers in Hummers and other menacing looking 4X4s because the cops are afraid of these guys (probably armed..+ they envy them) even though they all have the bulletproof vests and walk around like George Bush who thinks he’s some kind of samurai. That ‘arms akimbo performance’ is for some bimbo at the donut shop. I really don’t think the taxpayers should be paying their salaries any longer. The police dept. should be outsourced to the donut bros Dunkin’ and Tim. (Whoreton’s already supplying the canadian army with bad coffee and balls of fried fat) The cops spend most of their working hours in the donut shops anyway. Ich Bin ein berliner. Jelly donuts indeed. I despair of the Stooges ever getting any of their stuff back.

Good luck.

-Tissage’s comment below mentions the theft of the Black Halos gear in the charming city of Montreal.Black Halos gear stolen in Montreal Coming from Vancouver they should be used to it..(OUr equipment van was robbed there in the secure indoor parking provided by the upscale Granville Island Hotel.

Whale in water, mind in gutter (flotation devices recommended)

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on August 1, 2008

Well, turns out VIVA ZAPATA wasn’t that great even though MARLIN was the big starFISH. The script was not brilliant and the make-up people did something weird to Marlon’s nose, dilated a nostril so wide I expected it to go into labour, while brutally flattening out the rest of it, probably to make him look more like Anthony Quinn who does claim some Mexican parentage. Thankfully, it was in black and white. While we’re on the subject of FISH, we later watched MOBY DICK, dir. John Huston 1956. Now there’s a movie. I suppose Melville’s damp navel has been picked clean but if one looks a little lower down on the body I think that’s where we would find Herman’s inspiration coming from and I am sure that I’m not the only one to conclude that the ‘WHITE WHALE’ is a euphemism for his MOBY DICK. From the dire warnings of Orson Whales from the church pulpit to the crew of the pagan-named PEQUOD, to the horrific ending with the drowned Capt. Ahab tangled in his harpoonery and tied for eternity to the heaving and bloodied leviathan, while it sounds and surfaces, still urging on his shipmates with stiffened arm to finish the job, as it were, this movie was clearly about the dangers of unbridled homoerotic sex and eternal CONDOMNATION. It certainly was outrageous for 1956. The message: get yourselves married lads. The lone survivor Ishmael clinging to the tattooed Queequeg’s made to order coffin, the only thing left floating in the sea, is then rescued by the RACHEL, a whaler named after a faithful biblical wife, well, what can I say? As children we asked naively ‘did Moby Dick die?’ Hello!

Naan Guttersnipe